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Discussion in 'The Literary Forum' started by JimmyH, Apr 11, 2018.
Many Kindle books on sale
In light of his current racializing scandal, I look at Anyabwile having written a biography of Lemuel Haynes differently that I would have before. Not interested in it in the slightest.
But thanks for the link.
I wasn't aware of that. Oddly enough, though I had never heard of him before, today I bought his Kindle book on finding elders and deacons. That and R.C.'s The Holiness of God. I'll do a bit of research on this scandal you refer to. Thanks.
Thanks for the info! Look at all the Piper books on sale! lol
This is off topic but I foresee TGC and T4G dropping Thabiti soon.
Like the evil white man that I am, I won't be buying any Thabiti ever again. I can get enough white guilt from the secular press, I don't need it from folks who claim to represent Christ.
Plus, this whole Literary Lalapalooza seems a bit like commercialism to me. I tire of 8-10 celebrity pastors attending every conference and representing the whole reformed world. There seems a tendency among the Calvinists (especially the New Calvinists) to indulge in Celebrity Pastor worship.
Finally, just this week I saw info on the yearly salary and income of some of these ministries and it really sickened and angered me. "The laborer is worthy of his wages" doesn't justify 400 or 500k a year for pastoring a church. Some folks are making royalties of hundreds of thousands per year. One particular pastor that often preaches against the Prosperity Gospel makes an estimated 900,000 a year and pays his son-in-law over 600k a year for work on the ministry. And some of these folks also have the nerve to ask for donations on top of the book sales.
There's lot of money to be had in religion! If Jesus came back to cleanse our temples, he'd be turning over a lot of Reformed book tables as well.
Preach it brother. And by the way, Thabiti’s real name is Ron Burns. He changed it back when he was a black nationalist Muslim. The fact that he never felt the need to change it back when he became a Christian speaks volumes.
I would like to be properly informed about this. What is your source?
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There have been posts on here before about the high salaries of even some of our reformed pastors. I am not talking about 120,000K a year but into the 250-300k range and up.
If I have to name names, go and research the wealth of Franklin Graham, Charles Stanley, RC Sproul, John MacArthur, N.T. Wright, Ravi Zacharias, and ministries such as Voice of the Martyrs (which recently built an over 30 million dollar facility in Oklahoma from donor dollars meant for persecuted believers).
I mention these men because many of them rail against prosperity preachers, such as John MacArthur, but they themselves got quite wealthy off of religion. I am sure a chorus of boos will erupt and assert that he deserves to be paid well...but how well? Should a preacher of the Gospel be among the richest 1% of America's population, which is the richest country in all the world?
In this link the Triablogue discusses Tim Bayly's blog on the wealth of John MacArthur, and objections to Bayly's assertions:
And here is an even better link: http://triablogue.blogspot.com.au/2014/02/the-golden-calf.html
Plus, add to that all the blatantly charismatic Health and Wealth preachers who wear their Jesus Bling on TV and are asking for "seed money." This is why I never give money to these large ministries.
If you get rich as a pastor, then you're doing it wrong.
Meanwhile, I know poor missionary families in Africa and other impoverished nations (not me, I make sufficient for myself and several side projects). These missionary families are making due on insufficient support and using much of their own family funds to help the people. Their kids will struggle to pay for college. These people cannot even get a hearing from a church because they are unknown whereas the big celebrities can get speaker's fees as large as a month's mission support for them.
Maybe they make this much money but give it away? What’s wrong with that?
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The Triablogue link already answers you:
"You're absurdly proposing that it's okay for MacArthur to be overpaid so long as he turns right around and gives most of that back to charity. Why should parishioners who live paycheck-to-paycheck be contributing far more to MacArthur's income than he needs to live on, just so that he takes their money and gives it to someone else? Is that MacArthur's version of income redistribution?
For the record, his lifestyle now is as modest as it was before the
board voted him that benefit.
I didn't say anything about his "lifestyle." Rather, I raised questions about his "standard of living," which is defined as "The level of wealth, comfort, material goods and necessities available to a certain socioeconomic class in a certain geographic area" (Investopedia). I'm comparing his standard of living to the charismatic prosperity preachers who he rightly assails."
Perhaps it is a poor analogy, but the topic of celebrity pastors and their salaries brings to my mind the pro sports athletes and the exponential growth of their salaries in the last 50-60 years. The team owners were raking it in and eventually the free agent system changed the game as it were. http://articles.chicagotribune.com/...alary-cap-lockout-union-director-billy-hunter
In the above quote, are the "parishioners" members of Grace Community Church? If so, they give financially to the church because it is their duty. That has nothing to do with if the pastor has other income or not.
Anyway, what's the conclusion of the matter then?
If seemingly godly men are sinning in such a large way, what are we to make of it? If you are correct, would this not undercut these men's entire ministries?
This is obviously an area you are concerned about, as Ive seen you bring up these kind of things before.
Yes, it would undercut their entire ministries...especially if they are condemning prosperity preachers for lavish lifestyles.
It is hard to speak of taking up one's cross if one makes more than 300k a year. I have never condemned the rich for being rich, when such wealth is made off of business ventures. But when made from a non-profit ministry, or royalties from books condemning other preachers for the prosperity gospel, we need to judge church leaders more severely.
Yes, I have spoken of this issue before. I work among Third World evangelists that literally are sometimes starving and have no shoes. We have village children losing their hair due to vitamin deficits. I think I am more sensitive to these issues because I live among such poverty. I think the American Bubble of wealth makes this issue of affluence a blind-spot for us unless we see the plight of the rest of the world.
When reading about the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16 my daughter exclaimed, "Dad! WE need to be careful, because that rich man could be US! Because we live here among the poor..." My 10-year old daughter's words were very convicting. I also have to watch my own wealth while living among tribals because I have electricity and eat meat at least once a day.
Finally, it is the duty of Christians to give towards the Gospel. This normally occurs through local churches, but Christians are also to be generous through other avenues as well. It is hard to get motivated to give when one feels their own meager givings are going to one already well-supplied ("he doesn't need any more money") and so I believe excessive salaries of pastors also lead to decreased giving among parishioners, or the diversion of giving to "worthier" causes. I have declined to give special offerings for pastors before because I know they live very well already.
Finally, there are probably the objections of, "It is not our business" and also, "The worker is worthy of his hire" but I think transparency is vital and John Piper sets a good example. And being worthy of your hire doesn't mean living at a rate far above the average.
Dedicated to serving the sheep and working tirelessly for their sake, John Calvin accepted only a small salary, the Council of Geneva even forcing him to take more than he had suggested. Even this was barely enough.
Calvin lived in a simple life. Although not poor, he was far from rich. He would not have anyone say that he was made rich by preaching the gospel, even though he could have been.
Calvin's character in this respect was virtually unassailable. He admitted to his own short temper, and some of his views may not sit well with people. However, because of his frugality, so much of the slander against him (then and now) simply doesn't stick. If he was a "dictator" then why did he live as a commoner?
"Abstain from all appearance of evil."
1 Thessalonians 5:22
Long story short: your family sinned because King was murdered.
I heard that once before but thought that it was a joke.
Changing the subject somewhat, do you ever wonder how many really significant books by Reformed authors are either not being published or not given the circulation that the deserve owing to the fact that the writers are not celebrity pastors? Let's face it, how many of John Piper or Tim Keller's books are likely to live long in the memory? Two or three of them maybe, but that is about it.
And many publishers desire/demand an endorsement from a big name. I loooked into all of this years ago when I thought about writing a book. It was too much of a hassle, so I took my memes and blog to the common man.
Yep. In another thread recently I had stated a fair amount of these books are just...blah.
Perhaps I need to qualify. Undoubtedly, many have helped so many, but I am tired of reading a lot of these non technical books that have pages of anecdotes and a few each chapter of actual substance. No wonder you have these people reading like a dozen books a week. They all say the same thing with a few different anecdotes depending upon the ministry and connections.
Do you not read any MacArthur for this reason? Or Sproul?
I haven't in a long time. Especially when MacArthur chose to use the new NIV version for his study bible.
Plus, who needs to read when we've got memes?
MacArthur does not like the NIV but he said you can 'curse the darkness or turn on the light'
I do hope there is a missionary motivation at work. It makes little sense, however, to desire that the NIV be less used and then chose it as a version for thousands of new study bibles.
He figured getting good notes into NIVs was better than merely making more NASBs. I can understand that.
As far as the money thing goes, I don't know what to make of it. Ligonier has been very kind to me with free resources.
Side note, what is your opinion of HeartCry Missionary Society?
I am affiliated with Heartcry. I like them a lot.
Sometimes an author has to accept the gig he's offered. Even an author of MacArthur's stature might not be able to work with any publisher (and hence any translation) he chooses when it comes to a big project like a study Bible.
My first Christian writing job was writing devotional material for the website of a translation that is good in several ways, but not my favorite. The publisher of my preferred translation was not offering such a job (nor have they offered me anything since!), so I had to decide whether or not to work with the publisher who was interested. I thought I could do some good there overall, providing material that would be helpful to readers of that translation, so I took the assignment.
Oh, really? I had no idea. Paul Washer is my absolute favourite living teacher, and from what I have seen, HeartCry also does quality work.
I have contemplated supporting them in the past. Being affiliated with them, can you give me any information that could inform my decision?
I would say go for it. There are lots of good efforts happening in the country where I serve, which is a relatively new field for them. And in other countries they are even more active. A good emphasis on true belief versus easy believism and, for missions, they honor the place of the sending church quite well. I quit an evangelical mission org in 2014 because they said that a sending church's only roles were to send the missionary, pray for them, and send them money (all decisions on the field must be decided by the mission org and the sending church not involved). So we are very glad for their work.
I think this is a tempest in a teapot, especially regarding MacArthur. The Bayly brothers need to find something else to do with their time.